Jeremy Lin Preferred To Stay In New York; Kobe Calls A David Stern Idea “Stupid”

By: 07.18.12
Jeremy Lin

Now that Lindecision 2012 is all over, and Jeremy Lin is going to be formerly introduced as a Houston Rocket sometime soon, we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. No, we’re not talking about how, for once, the Knicks resisted the urge to indulge as they have so many times before (even though, for once, there were PLENTY of reasons to do it). We’re talking about how we got here. Lin never wanted to leave New York, and opened up about it to SI.com yesterday. The sensation says the biggest reason why he never wanted to leave the Big Apple were the fans and the way they embraced him as he went from a no-name to one of the most popular players in Orlando for All-Star Weekend. He took some heat for the 85 percent comment – saying at the end of the playoffs last year, he couldn’t play because he was only 85 percent healthy – but says he was misunderstood. He was actually 15 percent away from the minimum threshold he needed to play. Thus, the Knicks parted ways with Lin this summer during a 30-second phone call, and it appears like neither side will look back. Yet fans are already mourning the loss, especially considering a photo circulated around Twitter yesterday showing what could’ve been mistakingly cast as a 55-year-old version of Raymond Felton because the dude was so out of shape. Lin may never become a great player, but he’s definitely better than Felton is just about every feasible sense of the word, and plus there was a connection there with New York, even if the point guard never enjoyed the spotlight or endorsements that came along with it, saying: “Honestly, I preferred New York. But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. … Now I’m definitely relieved.” … Darko Milicic is a free agent, and has somehow drawn the interest of teams like Miami, Boston, the Clippers, Chicago and Brooklyn. Remember that old saying that if someone is 7-0 tall and isn’t a complete stiff, there will always be a place for them in the NBA? It’s still true. Darko doesn’t deserve to sign with any of those teams, given how much of a disappointment he’s been, and yet he could fluke his way into another ring if he picks the right team. Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and John Stockton are rolling over in their graves right now. The next thing you know, a team will be publicly stating that Kwame Brown is their new starting center. Wait, what was that, Doug Collins? You’re already doing that? Oh god … Other NBA offseason news: the Blazers matched Minnesota’s $45 million offer sheet for Nicolas BatumNazr Mohammed, according to Alex Kennedy, is close to signing in Brooklyn … John Lucas III has signed on with Toronto … Ben Golliver reports the Blazers are signing Ronnie Price … The Clippers used the amnesty to waive Ryan Gomes … And Ben Wallace doesn’t want to retire just yet, and is looking to play for Detroit next year … Keep reading to hear why Kobe called David Stern’s idea stupid …

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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Kobe might not be the go-to player on Team USA anymore, but when it comes to the media, he’s still the guy everyone looks to for perspective. And yesterday, when he was asked about the 23-and-under idea presented by David Stern, he called it like it is: “Stupid.” Kobe felt the Olympics should be a player’s choice and that there was simply no reason to give the team an age requirement. Okay, older players may be more prone to injury, and in the summer, an NBA owner can’t exactly keep tabs on his investment. But Bryant says playing on an Olympic team is actually better because instead of playing against bums or random guys off the street, they’re in the Olympics with the best care and best training staffs in the world … Speaking of Bryant’s team, the Lakers continue to go after Dwight Howard with everything they have, and are still in discussions with Orlando about making a possible deal. Are they any closer to getting one done? It depends who you talk to, but they’re at least trying even as others like Brooklyn, and probably Houston (very soon) have dropped out of the race. We continuously stated we’ve felt Dwight would end up in Hollywood all along, even if he’s too scared to go play under the weight of great expectations as a Laker center. L.A. will go after him because they have the balls to pull off moves everyone else is scared to make, and then because things always seem to break perfectly for them (they just offered Antawn Jamison a one-year deal for the veteran minimum, and yet the former UNC star still decided to come to try to win), Howard will love it there, Dwyane Wade‘s injuries will continue to pile up in Miami and the Lakers will go on to win a couple more championships before Bryant breaks down, Pau Gasol loses his love of the game and Metta World Peace‘s brain fries … What will the players be doing in-between all those media sessions and practices overseas? Well, if you want to believe ESPN, they might be banging. A recent article was published saying the Olympic village becomes a straight-up college dorm once all of the Olympians get in. Sex, alcohol, random hookups, crazy stories with people you don’t know or who don’t even speak your language, apparently it all goes on. Typically, someone’s first response to an article like this would be shock and confusion. No one hears about the celebrity Hope Solo got with during the last Olympic run. They only hear 1,324 deviations of the same story over and over again: how she overcame the odds, worked unbelievably hard, and made it when everyone said she wouldn’t. What nobody says is that they have to order 100,000 condoms for each Olympics (they actually had to order more during the last Olympics because they ran out so fast). So if no-name javelin athletes are hitting the sheets hard, basketball players – perhaps the biggest individual celebrities at the games – probably face more temptations than anyone … We’re out like condoms at the Olympics.

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